Country diary: Let pine martens work their magic in the Peak District – Rights History
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Country diary: Let pine martens work their magic in the Peak District

Buxton, Derbyshire: They haven’t been here for centuries, but due to ash die-back they’re needed now more than ever

One of the most depressing sights in the dales near Buxton is the landscape-scale devastation inflicted by ash dieback. Ash is the dominant tree in most of the woods, but such is the extent of the disease that the canopy has often collapsed. In its place are the dead tips to defoliated twigs and branches, which project from the trees like upraised finger bones.

As if trees are incapable of self-regeneration, various environmental groups have begun replanting saplings swathed in protective wreaths of plastic to ward off the gnawing teeth of squirrels and rabbits. Setting aside the rights or wrongs of this policy, I float an alternative idea: return pine martens to the region.

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